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True North Groups: A Powerful Path to Personal and Leadership Development Paperback – September 1, 2011

4.5 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"In True North Groups, Bill and Doug provide an extremely insightful and practical roadmap for how you can create your own ecosystem for mutual support, feedback, development and, ultimately, lifelong learning collaborators."  - Peter Sims, author of Little Bets

Though it may be difficult for people who aren't business leaders to immediately see the value of the group, they will feel inspired once they do, and after they've bought into the True North message, they can use this helpful book to start their own.  - Publishers Weekly

"From Publisher's Weekly"

For years, Harvard Business School professor Bill George ("True North") and corporate executive Doug Baker have been running True North groups. These groups help executives and leaders maintain their personal integrity and ethical compass by allowing them to periodically open up to fellow leaders in a safe environment. Participants share personal challenges, discuss strategies, and provide a support network for each other. Here, the authors provide a step-by-step guide for why one should start a True North group and how to do so. In addition, they discuss the importance of setting ground rules and norms, and offer suggestions for how to get through the bonding process during the first few meetings. This frank assessment of what their groups offer and how they must be structured lends the process credence, but readers who have never heard of True North groups will need to catch up very quickly to gain useful insights. Though it may be difficult for peo

About the Author

Bill George is a professor of management practice at Harvard Business School and the former chairman and CEO of Medtronic Inc. He is the author of Authentic Leadership, True North, Finding Your True North, and 7 Lessons for Leading in Crisis.

Doug Baker is president of the True North Groups Institute and former senior vice president for Human Resources of American Express Financial Advisors.

Foreword author Richard Leider is ranked by Forbes as one of the top 5 most respected executive coaches and by Linkage as one of the Top 50 executive coaches in America. He is the author of the bestsellers The Power of Purpose  and Repacking Your Bags.
 

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers; 1 edition (September 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1609940075
  • ISBN-13: 978-1609940072
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.6 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #154,741 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Dr. Joseph S. Maresca HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on August 27, 2011
Format: Paperback
True North Groups-A Powerful Path to
Personal and Leadership Development
by Bill George and Doug Baker is about
forming cohesive small groups to support
us during challenging times. Small group
membership requires a willingness to
challenge life's assumptions, comfort
with self-reflection, the ability to
listen and the sustained ability to
commit time to a common effort.
Ideal candidates have a sense of humor
about life, they like small group interaction
and are good listeners , as well as
facilitators.

Individual small groups possess common norms.
Examples of these norms are openness, trust,
respecting uniqueness, empathy, withholding
judgment, providing constructive suggestions
and attendance. Barriers to group cohesiveness
are lack of member commitment, absence of
suitable boundaries, dominating behaviors,
lack of sharing and the violation of group
normative values.

High performing groups usually have good attendance,
high levels of trust, adherence to explicit norms,
meaningful discussion topics, regular retreats or
meetings and a periodic group assessment. On occasion,
groups struggle for reform for a variety of reasons.
i.e. new blood is needed, people quit,the group
segments into one or more splinter subgroups.

Early in the life of a True North Group ,
members may meet to build intimacy and trust.
Each may discuss early life experiences,
obstacles in life, self-awareness issues,
values, passions, motivations, talents
and personal relationships.

Bill George and Doug Baker have established a
True North Groups Institute to support individual
True North Group efforts.
Read more ›
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I was fortunate enough to participate in two of Bill George's True North Groups - once during taking his class at Harvard Business School and another time during a special currciulum created for the Young Global Leader - and was tremendously impacted by both experiences!

There is something so powerful about the tools Bill George & Doug Baker have created, through these books, to help you share your life and leadership with one another - that is truly remarkable.

Never before had I seen such a diverse group of tools, combined together, to help you examine your own life, leadership, values, goals and past experience.

I had been fortunate enough to do deep work, at different times in my life, in each of these areas but was obviously much more impactful when it was combined together into one common and shared experience.

As a result - I couldn't recommend this new book more highly and am in the process of using it right now myself - to start my own group (with great friends and a couple of key people I have been hoping to get closer to for a long time now).
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This is a well planned, thoughtful, resource for forming a career and life planning support group. I especially liked the questions at the end to help members get started. The hardest part, and perhaps a weakness, is how to form and select people for a group. I believe this process may be easier to start for more senior managers, or for students/alums who have some shared experiences. I've also found that several people I've approached to form such a group often ask me how is this really different than an Al-Anon or AA group, which I find a bit difficult to answer. I wish the staff at the True North Institute were a bit more helpful in helping readers form groups. They often suggest we hire a consultant, from them, for our first few sessions. That's too expensive for me and my associates. I'm giving this process a try.
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This book is perfect for those wanting to do a "deep dive" on self-awareness and personal growth. In affect, by belonging to a True North group one is developing their own advisory board on a very very intimate level. The book reveals a step-by-step methodology in how to form a group...what processes to use, pitfalls to watch out for, and other pearls of wisdom. This group process has been in use for many years---successfully so. The authors, of course, have used it themselves and swear by it. The approach is powerful and transcends most corporate development efforts I'm aware of. Belonging to a True North group, I strongly suspect, isn't for everyone. For it to work, people have to be very committed to the group and the process and be prepared to look deeply at their own under-belly. And as we know that under-belly isn't always pretty. For those familiar with Vistage meetings, a True North meeting would be more intense, much more personal in nature. True North groups can be vulnerability on steroids. For some it's great. For others, not so much. By reading the book you'll get a much better feel for which camp you fall in.

Bill Wiersma --Author, The Big AHA and The Power of Professionalism (2011)
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Bill George and Doug Baker deliver a simple formula that will transform your life and those you truly care about. For centuries, we have known that there is power in groups and that social support is the key to success in any endeavor. The authors bring to life with examples, stories and practical advice, the concepts of a true mastermind group for personal, professional, spiritual and emotional growth in True North Groups. What was once thought to be magical and complex is presented in an easy to read format with step by step guidance,and suggested agenda topics, to allow anyone to build and sustain a True North Group. While reading True North Groups I thought of at least two dozen people I would send this book to, but why stop there, let's get this into our schools, clubs and neighborhoods. If you are looking for transformational growth and personal fulfillment, you have to read this book!
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